Education collaboratives to be accountable to councils, COSLA confirms

Written by Tom Freeman on 29 September 2017 in News

Scottish Government reach compromise with councils over regional school improvment plans

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New regional collaboratives to be set up as part of the Scottish Government’s school governance reform will be accountable to their member local authorities, councils umbrella body COSLA has confirmed.

The plans were initially seen by councils as a “power grab” by the Scottish Government, who were to appoint a chair to each regional body.

However after “constructive dialogue”, COSLA today announced that key functions and structure for the new bodies had been agreed with ministers, in what is being seen as a U-turn by Education Secretary John Swinney.


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Now to be called ‘Improvement Collaboratives’, the six regional groups will report to the chief inspector of Education Scotland but be accountable to the participating local authorities.

Their principle role will be to share resources and good practice.

COSLA spokesperson for children and young people, Councillor Stephen McCabe, said the compromise was “a positive step”

“Securing the best interests of children and young people is our driving goal in the integrated children’s services which local authorities deliver,” he said.

“Improvement collaboratives will take a robust, locally-driven and evidence-based approach which puts the child at the centre.  They will support the education community while at the same time empowering a culture of collaboration across organisational and geographic boundaries.”

Swinney said: “Improving the education and life chances of our children is my number one mission and I very much welcome that local government shares this vision and commitment.

“Improvement collaboratives are key to realising this ambition and a crucial part of our education reforms.

“I look forward to national and local government working together at pace – with support and expertise from Education Scotland – on this important regional initiative. It is the right approach to support our schools in closing the attainment gap and raising the bar for all.”

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